Typically one of the most overlooked areas of the house, the HDB service yard is a multi-purpose space we tend to use as our personal junkyard or an “outdoor area” where we can carry out our dirtier tasks like beating rugs, drying wet umbrellas, or it’s most common use — hanging laundry. This is arguably one of the most versatile spaces you can have in your HDB flat. So consider some of these ideas to better optimise your HDB service yard.
1. Bring down the wall!
Hack down the wall between your service yard and kitchen and make the space an extension of your service yard! It makes for a larger space and a more seamless look, especially if you have a sleek counter running the entire length. Some smart carpentry will also help conceal unsightly washers, dryers and other clunky laundry equipment.
2. In the doghouse
Hold on ladies, before you banish your husbands to the yard, we meant converting it into a pet playroom for your furkids. The cosier you make it, the more likely your pets will want to spend time in there, keeping your home relatively fur-free so you can save on the lint rollers. You will also avoid having to share your bed with needier pets if you want your room to yourself.
You can even install cat ladder shelves or scratch posts in it if you have cats. A word of warning though, make sure your windows are closed if any of the shelves are too near the window. Grills won’t keep your cats safe because they’re technically just going to melt right through those gaps, right?
3. Guest room
This space might be a little tight, but if you live in one of those shoebox apartments, or if you have a large family that requires as many separate rooms as possible, converting your service yard into a mini bedroom could allow one of your kids to have a space to call their own.
Consider using convertible furniture; perhaps a sofa bed that opens up to a single bed at night, or a desk that can collapse flat against the wall. Also, going for a minimalist theme with soft furnishings and neutral colours will help visually open up the small space and give it a more welcoming, non-claustrophobic feel.
4. Kiddy Pool/Garden
We can’t all afford to live in a condominium with fancy facilities, or in a landed house with its own pool. With some creativity and a relatively spacious service yard, you can have a large inflatable pool for your little ones for some splashing good fun, or even make a sandpit for them to build sandcastles in.
Alternatively you can create your own zen garden with stones and bonsai, or a “teeming with life” version with carpet grass and artificial flora and fauna. You can actually grow live plants in your makeshift indoor garden, but we caution you on the maintenance and effort you’d have to put in. Unless, of course, gardening is your hobby. In which case, work that green thumb and make them grow!
5. Outdoor bar/chill out spot
The idea of your own outdoor bar is exciting. Take it to the next level and install some cool racks for your liquor glasses, a mini-fridge for your drink of choice, a wall-mounted bar table and a couple of bar stools. Maybe throw in some neon lights in cheeky quotes to get a real vibe going, and you’ve got a really sweet chill out spot in your home.
For a lazier feel, you can switch out the bar stools for bean bags and a low side table to set your drinks upon. You can even combine the sandpit/garden idea to recreate a beach club setting, or use the carpet grass to feel like you’re having a night out under the stars.
6. Outdoor cooking area
This isn’t the same as extending your kitchen. We mean to keep the separating wall intact so you have a defined outdoor area to convert into a kitchen for all your heavy cooking, where you can just open up the windows to release fumes and grease, or fire up that Korean BBQ grill and have yourself a hearty Korean barbecue dinner. You can have your fill of pungent and aromatic food without stinking up your entire kitchen. Since this is a semi-wet part of your house, and should have come with a HDB-regulated floor trap, you can simply wash down your service yard floor with soap and scrub it to remove oil with soap water and scrub away to remove the grease.
This easy-to-clean concept applies to your outdoor swimming pool or sandpit set ups too. But don’t be dumping large quantities of sand down the floor trap; that’s just a recipe for disaster. Extra Tip: Having an outdoor sink also means you can do all your heavy cleaning outside, minimising wet mess in your pristine indoor kitchen.
7. Alfresco dining
No space for a dedicated dining area? Make your service yard an outside dining area so you can have your mini gatherings. Or perhaps, you have an indoor dining area but you really hate the mess and want a place where the crumbs, spills and messes won’t get on your nerves as much. Take it “outside” to your service yard; the fresher air makes for a better appetite too.
To go the extra mile, you dress up the ceiling with fairy lights. What’s more, since service yards typically have racks where you can hang up your laundry bamboo poles, these serve as built-in holders for you to string those pretty lights up.
Need help repurposing your service yard? Let us help!
Renovation not just improves the overall value and aesthetic of your house, but it allows you to enjoy your home to the fullest and incorporate a part of yourself into the spaces around you. So sit back, relax and let us turn your house into a home, because at Ohmyhome, we’re always by your side, on your side.
Engage our experienced team of interior designers and contractors for a well-executed home renovation project. Secure an appointment with any of our Interior Designers by dropping us a message on WhatsApp or via our Live Chat at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen. You can also get a free quote for your home in seconds!